Thursday, January 01, 2009

Bulgaria 2002!

New Year's Day is the slowest day of the year, what with everyone hung over and half the stores being closed. My office is closed until Saturday. I've already managed to sneak in a morning meal at the local diner as well as a workout. The gym wasn't obnoxiously crowded, but in a few days I'm going to loathe everyone with a resolution to lose weight.

I scanned in a few shots from Bulgaria 2002. These were all taken in film, so apologies for any funny lighting and focus issues.

The Backstory: In the fall of 2001 I auditioned for joined The Young People's Chorus of New York, a performing choral group in New York City. Thanks to them I got to perform at places like Carnegie Hall (twice), Lincoln Center and the 92nd Street Y. Yes, and people paid to see us. In June 2002 we toured Bulgaria. That's where these photos come in.

The group's repertoire varied from modern arrangements of four part choral music to classical pieces. With the Young People's Chorus I learned Handel's Messiah, Judas Maccabeus as well as Carmina Burana. I sang alto. (Alto 1, if you're nasty.) The group was organized and conducted by the supremely talented Cara Tasher. She was all of 27 years old when we went to Bulgaria.

Allison was my roommate throughout the tour, even in Prague, when most people could have their own room. She is great fun and a fellow Columbia grad.

Bulgaria is random because so many different groups have come through it, hence this random amphitheater in Plovdiv, the second largest city. (We were huge in Plovdiv!)

We didn't actually sing there, but I wanted to.

Lunch during one of our first afternoons in Plovdiv. Someone ordered fried frogs legs as an appetizer. They tasted like chicken.

Random poster in Plovdiv

A local woman selling her wares in one of the main squares.

This was the bus that carted us around for two weeks. You'll notice it has no bathroom, but we were never on it for very long. For quite a few years I had this photo, a 5 x 7, framed and on display in my apartment.

Waiting for the bus outside the hotel in Plovdiv. We were always waiting for the bus. Lubo, the driver, was awesome, though. Yavash, yavash.

This was taken after our performance in Sofia, at around 9:30 at night. You'll notice that the sun is just setting.

Veliko Turnovo: One of the most beautiful little towns I've ever visited.

Everyone all gussied up for a fancy dinner on top of a hill in Veliko Turnovo.